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administration to make sure everything we do is exactly right. as chris noted, we all take an oath to do that, and we take that oath seriously. an oath to do that, and we take that oath seriously. >> we know from the mandy and report that came out that other governments are busy doing this and expanding their psycho warfare techniques. i just want to say that it is so violent, as the chairman has pointed out, for the folks in the work that you are doing at .he nsa, how important it is so thank you for your service, general. i yield back. >> i would dispute the fact that other governments do it in anyways, shape, or form him a close to having any oversight whatsoever of their intelligence gathering programs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to thank all of our
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witnesses today for your service to this country and for helping to maintain our national security. i would like to talk a little bit about the security practices. we have spent a lot of time referring to the american people at the various levels of complexity in which you have judicial oversight and congressional oversight. how did this happen? how does a relatively low level administrator -- systems administrator, i think you said, have classified information? is it an acceptable risk? i get you have 1000 or so system administrators. it is extremely frightening that you would go through such measures to do the balancing act internally to make sure that we are balancing protection and security and privacy and internally, in your own control, there are system administrators
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i can go rogue. , how an exceptional risk did that happen, and is there an oversight to the system administrators? >> there is oversight. where we are looking at is where that broke down and what happened. that is going to be part of the investigation that are working with the fbi on. 9/11.d just come back to one of the key things what's we went from the need to know to the need to share. in this case, what the system and ms. ritter asked us is what we will call the public web forums that nsa operates. these are the things that talk about how we do our business, not necessarily what has been collected as a result of that. nor does it necessarily give them the insights that the training and the other issues -- training and certification process and accreditation that our folks go through to do this. so those are in separate require otherw
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certificates to get into. those are things where looking at. you may recall that the intelligence community looked technologyformation environment that reduces the number of system administrators. if we could jump to that immediately, i think that would get us in much more secure environment and would reduce this set of problems. it is something that dni is leading. i think that is absolutely vital to get to. there are mechanisms that we can use there that will help secure this. clear, snowden did not have the certificate necessarily -- necessary to lead ?hat public forum >> in each case, you have to have specific certificates. that would be extremely difficult, you have to get up
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to nsa to get to that room. others require certificates are you to be working in this area to have that. he would have to get one of those certificates to actually enter that area. does that make sense? in other words, it is a key. >> i think that -- i would encourage us to figure out a way that we can declassify more information. i thank you for giving us two additional examples of terrorist attacks that we have thwarted because of these programs, but i think that providing us with as much information as you can on fisa courts opinions would help the american public demystify what we're doing here. i think the judicial examples you gave here today were great. but i also am concerned that we have contractors doing -- i get that we cannot -- that there is a ve at some point to not
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have as many government employees, and so we sort of outsourced it, but given the sensitivity of the information forthe access, even relatively low level employee, do you see that being a problem? and how do we go about -- >> so we do have significant concerns in this area, and it is something we need to look at. the mistakes of one contractor should not tarnish all the contractors because they do great work for our nation as i think we have to be careful not to throw everybody under the bus because of one person. you raised two great points that i think we will look at. one, how do we provide the oversight. i talked to our technology director about the two-person control for system administrators, and we are going to implement that. i think in terms of what we released to the public, i am for releasing as much as we can, but i want to weigh that with our national security.
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and i think that's what you expect us, and what the american people expect from us. i need to make sure on this side that what we do is exactly right. i think how we minimize data, how we run this program, those types of things, that's why chris went through those great details. i think those are things that the american people should know. what they find out is, shoot, look at the oversight, the compliance, and the training that our people are going through. this is huge. this isn't some rogue operation that a group of guys at n.s.a. are running. this is oversight by the committees, the courts, the administration, and a 100% auditable process. that's extraordinary oversight. i think when the american people look at that, they would say, wow, for less than 300 selectors, that amount of
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oversight, and that's what we have jointly agreed to do. i think that's tremendous. >> i doo, too. i applaud the efforts. i think given the nature of this leak, you know, we don't want our efforts to be for naught, if, in fact, what happens is that the leaks get the american people so concerned, that we roll back on these programs and therefore increase our vulnerability as a nation. that's not in anyone's best interests. going back to sort of the difference between private contractors and government employees, is there a different security clearance? >> same security clearance. >> thank you. i rest my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as mr. nunez had mentioned about some of the other things that have come out about leaks and so
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forth, my constituents asked me the difference in maybe what the attorney general did in going to the court to -- on the rosen case, said he was an unindicted co-conspirator, because that was about a leak also. what type of review did you-all go over before you asked for those phones to be tapped and to make it perfectly clear that was not in a fisa court. is that correct? >> number one, that was not a fisa court. in the rosen case, there were no phones being tapped. it was just to acquire a couple of e-mails. and there is a very, very robust system. it is set out in regulations that the department of justice
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follows, of the kinds of scrubbing and review that must be done before any subpoena like that can be issued. you have to exhaust all other that that is done before you even get to the decision as to whether or not a rough this is used. you have to make sure the information you are looking at is tailored and only truly necessary to be able to move the investigation forward. there are restrictions on what can be done with the information, and it goes through a very long process of review from the u.s. attorney's office through the united states attorney, him or herself, into usually the
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criminal division of the justice department, through the assistant attorney general of the criminal division, through the deputy attorney general's office, and ultimately to the attorney general signing it. it gets a lot of review before that's done under the criteria that we have in our guidelines in our c.f.r. >> so the d.o.j. didn't, because of it being a security leak, the d.o.j. didn't contact the f.b.i. or the n.s.a.? there was no coordination with that, it was strictly a d.o.j. criminal investigation? >> but the f.b.i. does criminal investigations with the department of justice, and they were contacted in that regard. it was not part of the fisa process. it did not involve the n.s. a. >> and i think that's what we need to be clear of. it was not part of the fisa process. that was a lot more detailed and a lot more scrutinized as far as getting information than what this was. is that correct? >> well, they are both very detailed and very scrutinized processes. they have different aspects to them. they are both very unusually
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detailed and scrutinized, both of those processes. >> thank you. and general, going back to what ms. sewell had asked about what the difference is of the clearance you would have with a contractor or government employee, when you have 1,000 different government contractors, i know from my experience after having one of my staff go through a security clearance, it is a pretty detailed operation. i know this person had previously worked for the c.i.a. had there been additional clearance given to him when he became a contractor after he left the employ of the c.i.a.? >> no additional clearance. he had what's necessary to work at n.s.a.
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or one of our facilities, a top secret special intelligence clearance. that goes through a series of processes and reviews. the director of national intelligence is looking at those processes to make sure those are all correct. he's stated he is taking that on. we support that objective. to work at n.s.a., whether you are a contractor, government civilian, or military, you have to have that same level of clearance. >> does it bother you that this gentleman had only been there for a short period of time? is there any sort of oversight or review or whatever of the individuals that are carrying out this work? is there any type of probation time or anything? because, you know, it seems he was there a very short period of time. >> so he had worked in a couple of positions. he had just moved into the booz allen position in march, but he
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had been in an information technology position in the 10 months prior to that. he had actually been there 15 months. he had moved from one contract to another. >> would he have been familiar with these programs at his previous job? >> yes. and i believe going out on what we call the public classified web service to help you understand parts of n.s.a., that he took parts of that and -- i can't go into more detail. >> at one point when you say, would he have become familiar with these programs, i think one of the problems is, he wasn't nearly as familiar with these programs as he thought he was. this is one of those cases where someone sees a small corner of a program and thinks it gives them insight into the whole program. >> thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman, i do like to thank the panel for appearing today and your service. i think i have been saying to each of you, i have been heartened by your competence, and the agencies with which you work. i have seen nothing in the week and a half that we have discussed this that these programs are operating in anyway outside the law, and i would add the controls in place in these programs seem solid. i will also say that i don't know that there is anyway to do oversight without a posture of skepticism on the part of the overseers, so i hope you will take my observations and questions in that spirit. i would like to limit my questions purely to section 215 in the verizon disclosures. which, quite frankly, trouble me. they trouble me because of the breadth and the scope of the information collected. they trouble me because i think this is historically unprecedented in the extent of the data that is being collected on potentially all american
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citizens, and the controls which you have laid out for us notwithstanding, i think that's new for this country. we know that when a capability exists, there is a potential for abuse. mr. nunez ran through a lot of issues going back to j. edgar hoover to nixon to concerns around the i.r.s. if a capability exists, it will be abused fliment. this individual, whose resume would make it unlikely he would get an unpaid internship in my office, he had access to some of the most sensitive information that we have, and someone like him could have had access to many different numbers. we all know with a phone number and google you can get a name pretty quickly. he could have made comments about the c.e.o. of google making phone calls or anything,
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really, information that we hold to be private. so i guess i have two questions. where do we draw the line? in other words, so long as the information is not information to which i have a reasonable expectation of privacy under section 215 powers, where do we draw the line? could you, for example, get video data? as i walk around washington, i suppose you could reconstruct my day with video captured on third party cameras. could you keep that in a way that is analogous to phone numbers? again, with all the careful guards, could you not reconstruct my day? i'm trying identify where the line is. >> i think the real issue is, how it is accessed, what it can be used for.
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>> i am stipulating that that system, even though we know it is not perfect, i'm stipulating that that system is perfect. i'm asking, where is the limit as to what you can keep in the tank? >> i think some of it is a matter for the united states congress to decide in policy matters and the legislating that you do surrounding these acts as where you are going to draw those lines. certainly the courts have looked at this and determined that under the statutes there is a relevance requirement. they are not just saying out of whole cloth they are going to gather these things, have you to look at it all together. they are only saying that you can gather this volume under these circumstances, under these restrictions, with these controls without those circumstances and controls and
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restrictions the court may well not have approved the orders under 215 to allow that collection to take place. so you can't separate them out one from the other and say just the acquisition what can we do? because the acquisition comes together with the restrictions on access. >> and if those restrictions and controls are adequate, there is theoretically no restriction on your ability to store information on anything for which i do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy? >> i will refer back to n.s.a.'s textbooks for that. >> i do have one more specific question. >> so your question is, could someone get your number and see you were at a bar last night? the answer is no. only 22 people can approve a reasonable, articulable inquiry on a citizen. you would have to have one of those 22 break the law.
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then you have to have someone go in and break a law, and the system is 100% auditable. so they will be caught. there is no way to change that. on that system, whoever did that would have broken the law. that would be willful, and then that person would be found by the court to be in violation of a court order, and that's much more serious. we have never had that happen. >> thank you. i appreciate that. i think it is really important that we explore these bright lines about what you can keep and what you can't. again, i don't see anything about the control systems. i do have one quick question, if the chairman will indulge me. general, this is something i asked you, and something i asked you in closed session. obviously we are weighing privacy against security. i think when we are weighing this, it is important we understand the national security benefit. i limit myself to 215 here. 50 episodes. i don't think it is adequate to
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say that 702 and 215 authorities contributed to our preventing 50 episodes. i think it is really essential that you grade the importance of that contribution. the question i asked you, and you can answer now -- i would really like to get into this. how many of those 50 episodes would not have occurred but for your ability to use the section 215 authorities as disclosed in the verizon situation? how essential -- not just contributing to it, but how essential are these authorities to stopping which attacks? >> for clarity, over 50. and in 90% of those cases, f.a.a.702 contributed. and in 50% i believe they were critical. >> 702. >> 702. and shifting to the business ad
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record fisa, and i'll do mutt and jeff here. i'm not sure which one i have. over 50% were domestic. >> and how many? >> over 10. >> and of the 10, how many were critical? did i say that wrong? >> yes. just slightly over 10. and i do not want to pin that number until the community verifies it. so just over 10 had a domestic nexus. so business records -- fisa could only apply to those. the ones in other countries could not apply. the data is not there and it doesn't come into the u.s. if we look at that, the vast majority of those had a contribution by business record fisa. so i think we have to be careful and say we don't take the whole world and say you only did those in the united states and some large majority of that. i do think this, going back to 911, we didn't have the ability to connect the dots. from my perspective, what we are
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doing here, with the civil liberties and bringing people together, does help connect those dots. >> if i could just -- i'm out of time. i think this point is important. if my constituents are representative of the broader american public, they are more familiar with the collecting of american data than foreign data. so i would appreciate if you would illucidate for us how many stopped terrorist attacks was 215 essential to? >> i think you ask an impossible question. what i can say is i don't recognize the f.b.i. from when i came in. our mission is to stop terrorism before it starts in the united states. i can tell you every tool we use
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is essential and vital. the tools we have outlined today have been vital to stopping some of those plots. you ask, how can you put value on an american life, and i can tell you, it's priceless. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chair, for holding this important hearing today. i just have a series of short questions. my first is, you mentioned earlier in your testimony that data must be destroyed within five years of acquisition. i believe that's been the section 215 phone records. >> it is destroyed when it reaches five years of age. >> and how long do the phone companies on their own maintain data? >> that varies. they don't hold the data for the benefit of the government, they hold it for their own business and internal processes. i don't know the specifics. i know it is variable. i think it arranges from six to 18 months. the data they hold is again
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useful for their purposes, not necessarily the government's. >> my question is, did the fisa orders give the united states companies a choice in whether to participate in the n.s.a. records or the prison program? was this voluntary compliance on the part of these companies? >> no, these are court orders. they require their complains with the terms of the court order. >> let me just, for the record, state, is n.s.a. spying today or have you spied on american citizens? >> we do not target u.s. persons anywhere in the world without a specific court warrant. >> and does the n.s.a. listen to the phone calls of american citizens? >> we do not target or listen to the telephone calls of u.s. persons under the targeting without a specific court warrant. >> does the n.s.a. read the e-mails of american sentence? >> same answer, ma'am. >> does the n.s.a. read the text messages?
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>> not without a specific warrant anywhere on the earth. >> has the n.s.a. ever tracked any political enemies of the administration, whether it is a republican administration or democrat administration? you said you are 100% auditable, so you would know the answer to this question. have you ever tracked the political enemies of an administration? >> in my time at the n.s.a., no ma'am. >> does the government keep the video data? does the government have a data base with video data tracking the movements of the american people? >> i'm sorry, the microphone is on. -- is not on.
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>> n.s.a. does not hold such data. >> i think those are held by individuals in boston. >> does the federal government have a video data base tracking the where abouts of the american people? >> the f.b.i. does not have such a data base, nor am i aware of one. >> does the american government have a data base that has the g.p.s. location whereabouts of americans, whether by our cell phones or other tracking device? is there a known data base? >> n.s.a. does not hold such a data base. >> does the n.s.a. have a data base that you maintain that holds the con tent of american phone calls? do you have recordings of all of our calls? so if we're making phone calls is there a national data base that has the content of our calls? >> we're not allowed to do that, nor do we do that unless we have a court order to do that. and it would be only in specific cases, and almost always that would be an f.b.i.
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lead, not ours. >> do we maintain a data base of all e-mails that have ever been sent by the american people? >> no. no, we do not. >> is there a data base that maintains the text messages of all americans? >> none that i know of, and none at n.s.a. >> and i think what you have told this committee today is that the problem is not with the n.s.a., that it's trying to keep the american people safe. you told us you have a 100% auditable system with oversight from its n.s.a. and congress, it seems to me that a person that worked within the system, that broke laws, and who chose to declassify highly sensitive classified information, it seems to me that's where our focus should be on how there could be a betrayal of trust, and how a traitor could do something like this to the american people. it seems to me that's where our focus must be in how we can
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prevent something like that from ever happening again. let me ask you a question. how damaging is this to the security of the american people that this trust was violated? >> i think it was significant and irreversible damage to this nation. >> has it helped our enemies? >> i believe it has, and i believe it will hurt us and our allies. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the panel. one of the things about being so low on the totem pole here is, all the questions i would like to ask have been asked. i am fortunate in that a lot of the questions were very poignant. i hope the american people and those in the room have learned a lot about what happened here and learned a lot about the people on the panel.
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i can specifically say, general alexander, in my time on the intelligence committee, i have more respect for you. i am glad you are the one up there testifying, so that the american people can see despite what is being portrayed that there is no one is better to articulate what is happening. and i will ask a couple basic questions that might help clear some things up. mr. cole, you talked about how the patriot act, maryland v. smith, et cetera, and then we heard how to look at the data under 215 there has to
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be specific suspicion that is presented to a court, and that court is not a rubber stamp in allowing us to basically look at metadata which is strictly phone records. one of the problems i think people have out there is that when it is so specific and only a number of people are able to articulate who we should be looking at, and you hear this number of "millions" from verizon, can you help clear that up? >> certainly. as we said, we don't give the reasonable suspicion to the court ahead of time. they set out the standards for us to use. but the analogy, and i have heard it used several times, if you are looking for a needle in the haystack, you have to get the haystack first.
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that's why we have the ability under court order to acquire all of that data. we don't get to use all of that data necessarily. that is the next step. which you have to be able to determine that there is reasonable, articulable suspicion to actually use that data. so if we want to find there's a phone number we believe is connected with terrorist organizations and terrorist activity, we need to have the rest of the haystack, all the other numbers, to find out which one it was in contact with. and as you heard mr. enqvist say, it is difficult
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-- limited numbers of times that we do this because we do have standards that have to be met before we can make use of that data. so while it is collected, it is used sparingly. >> did you or anyone you know break the law to obtain this data? >> i am aware of no one who has broken the law in obtaining this data. there are other issues with the leaks that have gone on here. >> based on everything we have heard today, do you see any problems with 702 or 215 that you think should be changed by this body? >> not right now. but this is something we agreed we would look at, especially the structure of how we would do that. we are looking at all of the key points. what we have to bring back to you is the agility. how we do it in the oversight. are there other ways we can do this? but at the end of the day, we need these tools, and we have to figure out the right way, from my perspective, this court and the body do oversight. i think the american people
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would agree, that what we are doing is the right way. so those are the steps that we will go back and look at the architecture. that is a commitment that n.s.a. has made to this administration and this committee. >> final question, what's next for mr. snowden that we can expect? >> justice. >> i yield back, mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here today. this has been a great hearing. i think the american people are happy to have a chance to hear from you and believe you or a man who told american secrets and fled to communist china. there are those who say the wars are winding down,
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but for the soldiers fighting overseas and others, do you think these programs are just as much needed today as they were in the aftermath of 911? >> i do. >> i do, too, and i would add that i think the environment has become more challenging. i think the more tools you have to be able to fight terrorism, the more we are going to be able to protect the american people. >> thank you. we're talking a lot about the statutory ability of 215 and 702. we have plain old article 3 judges in the sense of lifetime tenure, nominated by the president, confirmed by the united states senate. they have the same power and authority as all article 3 judges do. is that correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> we have article 2 here before us today and we have article 1 oversight taking place today.
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i want to talk about article 1's involvement. there have been members that talked about the fact that they didn't know about these programs general alexander or maybe mr. english, can you talk about the briefings you provided for members of congress both recently and when this set of laws were developed? >> 702 has recently reauthorized at the end of 2012 in the run-up of that n.s.a. companionship with the department of justice, f.b.i., d.n.i. made a series of presentations across the hill some number of times and talked in very specific details about the controls on those programs and the success of those programs. the reauthorization of section 215 of the patriot act came after that, but there was a set of briefings along those lines. at the same time we continue to welcome all congress persons or
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senators to come down and we can come to you and classify all briefs. some members have taken us up on that offer. >> that's right. any time, any place we can talk, we will do that. >> i have been on the committee only a short time. i learned about these programs a before i came on this committee, so i know members outside of the committee had access to these programs, and i think it is important. as committee oversight members, i think it is important, but i think it is important for all members of congress to appreciate the scope of this. i appreciate that you have offered that assistance to all of us. a couple clean-up details. i want to make sure i have this right. general alexander, from the data collected, can you determine the location of a person who made a particular phone call? >> not beyond the area code. >> do you have information about signal strength or tower direction? i have seen articles that talk
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about you having this information. i want to see if we have that right. >> we don't have that in the data base. >> you made a reference to 702. you talked about it being a restriction on article 32, not an expansion. that is article 702. that is, people believed they had authority long before it was granted. is it true you view 702 as a restriction, article 2? >> yes. >> great. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to first of all thank all the witnesses for their testimony, for their service, and for all you have done to strengthen and maintain this program. my question, general alexander, is several times in your testimony, you referenced 911
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and how -- i recall after september 11 there was a loud challenge to the intelligence community to do a better job of connecting the dots, be more aggressive, be more forward thinking, try to anticipate what's going to happen, think outside the box. as i see it, this is a very legitimate and legal response to that request. i would ask that you reference the case after september 11, when there was a phone interception from yemen which enabled you to foil the new york stock exchange plot. it is also my understanding that prior to 9/11, there were phone messages from yemen that you did not have the option to follow through on that could have perhaps prevented the 9/11 attack. can you explain how that could have been prevented if you believe it could have been
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prevented. >> i don't know if it could have been prevented. what i can tell you is it is a tool that was not available to us prior to 9/11. so when there was a call made to a terrorist in san diego, we did not have the capability to track that call. now, things may have been different, and we will never know that unfortunately. that is -- the tools that we are talking about today that we did not have at the time of 9/11. moving forward, as you mentioned, about the stock exchange. here we have a similar thing, except this was under the 702 program where n.s.a. tipped to us that a known extremist in yemen was conversing with an individual inside the united states we later identified as khalid huajani. then we were able to go up with our legal authority here in the united states and in kansas city we were able to identify two additional co-conspiritors.
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we found they were in the initial stages of planning to bomb the new york stock exchange. to really summarize, as i mentioned before, all of these tools are important. as congressman shiff mentioned, we should have this dialogue. we should all be thinking outside the box of how to do our business. i sit before you today humbly and say that these tools have helped us. >> if i could, i think in the mihdhar case, that was the terrorist from the 9/11 plot in california that was on the flight that crashed into the pentagon. what we don't know, going back in time, is the phone call between yemen and midar, if we would have had reasonable suspicions to enter. so we would have to look at that. assuming that we did, if we had the data base that we have now and we searched on that yemen
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number and saw it was talking to someone in california, we could have tipped that to the f.b.i. another step, and this is an assumption, but let me play this out, because we will never be able to go back and redo all the figures from 9/11, but this is why some of these figures were put in in order to do that, going from midar, we would have been able to find the other three teams in the united states and/or one in germany. so the ability to use the metta data would have allowed us, we believe, to see something. so it is hypothetical. there are a lot of conditions that we can put on there. you would have to this have this right, but we didn't have that ability. we couldn't connect the dots, because we didn't have the dots. so i think what we have here is one more additional capability to help us work together as a
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team to help us prevent are future attacks. you look at this, the new york city and others, i think from my perspective, those would have been significant events for our nation. so i think what we have jointly done with congress is help set this program up correctly. >> in your opening statement you said you would rather be testifying here today on this issue rather than explaining why another 9/11 happened. so thank you for your service, and for preventing another 9/11 from happening. i want to thank all you have done to prevent attacks. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> just a couple things to wrap it up. mr. joyce, you have been in the f.b.i. for 20 years. you have conducted criminal investigations as well. sometimes you get a simple tip that leads to a broader investigation. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> so without that initial tip, you might not have found the other weighty evidence scent to
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that tip? >> absolutely. >> so in a case of --, in 2007, the very fact that under the 215 records there was a simple tip that was, we have someone who is known to have ties with al- qaeda's east african network calling a phone number in san diego. that's really all you got was a phone number in san diego. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and according to the unclassified report, that tip ultimately led to a full investigation that led to the february 13 conviction. is that correct? >> yes. >> so without that first tip -- you weren't up on his electronics communications, he was not the subject of any investigation prior to that tip from the national security agency?
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>> no, actually he was the subject to our prior investigation seven years earlier. that was closed because we could not find any connection to terrorism. then, if we did not have the tip from n.s.a., we would not have been able to reopen the case. >> but at the time you were not investigating the case? >> that is right. >> and when they dip that number into the business records, the preserved business records from the court order, they dip a phone number in and a phone number came out in san diego, did you know who that person was when they gave you that phone number? >> no, we did not. we had to serve legal process to identify this person and corroborate it. then we later had electronic surveillance. >> when you went up on electronic surveillance, you used a court order, a warrant, a subpoena? >> that is correct. >> what did you use? >> a fisa court order. >> so you had to prove probable cause to go up on this individual's phone number. that is right? >> that's right. and it has been mentioned several times today, anyone inside the united states,
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whether they are inside or outside the united states, we need a specific court order regarding that person. >> mr. cole, just for purposes of explanation, if you were going to have an f.b.i. agent came to you for an order to preserve business records, do they need a court order or a warrant for that in a criminal investigation? >> no, they do not. you can just get a grand jury's subpoena. separate from preserving it, you can acquire it with a grand jury subpoena, and you don't need to go to a court to do that. >> so that is a lower legal standard in order to obtain information on a u.s. citizen on a criminal matter. >> that is correct. >> and i think this is an important point to make. the system is set up on this foreign collection. and i argue this -- we need this high standard because it is in a
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classified setting. you need to have this high standard. can you describe the difference? if i were getting the information, the legal standard would be much lower if i were working an embezzlement case in chicago and trying to stop a terrorist operating overseas trying to get back into the united states to conduct a plot. >> some of the standards might be similar, but the process that you have to go through is much greater in the fisa context. you have to go to the fisa court ahead of time and set out facts facts that will explain to the court why this information is relevant to the investigation that you are doing, why it is a limited type of investigation that is allowed to be done under the statute and under the rules, and then the court has to approve that ahead of time, along with all of the rules and restrictions, how you can use it, how you can access it, and who you can disseminate it to.
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you have restrictions on who you can disseminate it to. but those would be broader, and you don't need a court ahead of time. >> so in total, this is a much more oversighting scene, and on an embezzlement case, you wouldn't brief that to congress would you? >> no, not as normal course. >> so you would have a whole different layer of oversight. and i argue that because of necessity, it used to be a classified program of which you want additional oversight. you want members of the legislature making sure that you don't necessarily need in a criminal matter domestically? >> that's correct. in a normal criminal embezzlement case you would have the f.b.i. and the justice department involved and that's about it. in this you have the national security agency, you have the odni, you have the inspectors
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general, you have the department of justice. you have the court monitoring what you are doing, if there were any mistakes made. you have congress briefed on a regular basis. there is an enormous amount of oversight compared to a grand jury situation. yet the records that can be obtained are of the same kind. >> does china have an adversarial intelligence service directed at the united states? >> yes, they do. >> do they perform economic espionage farthered at companies in the united states? >> yes, they do. >> do they conduct espionage to our military in the united states and abroad? >> yes, they do. >> do they target policymakers that might engage in foreign affairs when it comes to the united states? >> yes.
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>> how would you rate them as an adversarial intelligence service, compared to other adverasries, the russians, the reins, others. >> they are one of our top adversaries. >> if i understand it, there have been economic as well as military efforts. so they have been very aggressive in their espionage activities toward the united states. is that a fair statement? >> i think they have been aggressive against united states' interests. >> general alexander, how would you describe in an unclassified way the chinese cyber-efforts for both espionage and their military capability to conduct disruptive attacks toward the united states? >> very carefully.[laughter]
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with a lot of legal oversight. i think one of the things that is public knowledge about the cyber-activities that we are seeing, and i also think what is missing perhaps in this conversation with the chinese, is what is acceptable practices here. i think the president has discussed 14 some of that with the new president of china, and i think that's some of what we have to have. this need not be an adversarial relationship. our country does a lot of business with china, and we need to look at how can we improve the relationship with china in such a way that both our countries benefit. because we can, and i think that's good for everybody. what concerns me is, now this program and what we're talking about with china, i think we have to solve this issue with china and look at ways to move forward.
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i think we do have to have that discussion on cyber, what are the right standards and have that discussion both privately and publicly. and it is not just our country, it is all the countries of the world as well as china. >> i appreciate you drawing the line, but would you say that china engages in cyber-economic espionage to steal economic property in the united states? >> yes. >> would you agree they engage in trying to steal military and business secrets of the united states? >> yes. >> i think this is important that we put it in the context of what americans want to know about the relationship between mr. snowden and where he finds a home today, and know that we are doing a full investigation into possible connections with any nation state who might take
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advantage of this activity. the one thing i degree with mr. -- today, is they haven't seen any changes, and i would dispute that based on what i've seen yesterday. do you believe al-qaeda elements just historically, when issues have been disclosed, change the way they operate to target both soldiers abroad and their terrorist plotting activities, movements, financing, weaponization? >> to be fair, what i intended to say, we know they have seen it, we know they have commented on it. what we don't know is over the long term what impact it will have on our collection capability. but you are right. we know they watch us, and they modify their behavior based on what they learn. >> and we also know in some cases in certain countries they have modified their behavior, including, the way the they target u.s. troops based on certain
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communications. is that correct? >> i guarantee it is absolutely correct. that's what is so concerning about this. >> i appreciate you being here. i know how difficult it is to come and talk -- general, did you want to say something? >> yes, i did want to say a couple things. thanks to the committee and the administration and others. in the summer of 2009 we set the up the director of compliance and put some of our best people in it to ensure that what we are doing is exactly right, and this committee was instrumental in helping us set that up. that's one point. when we talk about oversight and compliance, people think it is just once in a while, but there was rigorous actions by you and this committee that set that up. the second is in the open pressers there is a discussion about pattern analysis. they are out there doing pattern analysis on this. that is absolutely incorrect.
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we are not authorized to go into the data nor are we data mining or doing anything with the data other than those queries that we discussed, period. we are not authorized to do it. there are no automated processes running in the background trying to figure out networks. the only time you can do pattern analysis is once you start that query and go forward. you can't -- you know, i have four daughters and 15 grandchildren. i cannot supervise them with this data base. it is not authorized, and our folks do not do it. so that oversight applies too you and the committee sees. i think it is important for the american people to know it is limited. in this case of 2012, less than 300 selectors were looked at it and they had an impact in helping us prevent potential attacks. when you look at that and you balance those two, that's pretty
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good. >> and i do appreciate it. and the folks at the n.s.a. -- we have never had an issue with subpoena. all that information has readily been provided by you. you meet with us, and we have an open dialogue. when problems happen, we deal with them in a classified way and in a way that i think americans would be proud that their elected representatives deal with issues. i'm not saying there are some hidden issues out there. there are not. i know it has been difficult to talk about sensitive issues in a public way. in order to preserve your good work on behalf of all the patriots defending america, i still think it was important to reassure the level of oversight on a program that we all recognize needed an extra care and attention and a lot of sets of eyes.
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i hope today in this hearing we have been able to do that. i do believe that america has the responsibility to keep some things secret as we have served to protect this country. you all do that well. and the darndest thing is we may have found it is easier for a systems administrator to steal the information than it is for us to access the program in order to prevent a terrorist attack in the united states. we'll be working more on those issues. we have had great dialogue about what's coming on some of those oversight issues. thank you very much. thank you all for your service, and i wish you all well today. >> thank you. [inaudible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> at noon eastern, the house will continue debate on the farm bill. live your on c-span.
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on c-span two, more work in the senate on and border security measure. said heeader harry reid would like to finish work on the bill before the july 4 recess. three, live coverage of president obama's visit to germany after the g8 summit. he and german chancellor angela merkel will hold a news conference. in two hours, the president is scheduled to deliver a speech at berlin's historic brandenburg gate. watch that at 9:00 a.m. eastern. coming up this hour, we will talk with house foreign affairs committee member gerry connolly about this week's g8 summit, the iran.ct in syria then an update on the national security agency data collection program with pennsylvania congressman scott perry. and our spotlight magazine series continues later. "christian science monitor"
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correspondent will discuss his article on school prayer in the u.s., 50 years after the supreme court banned the practice. first, we will take your phone eets., e-mail, and tweake [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] host: welcome to "washington wednesday, june 19. work on an immigration bill continues in the senate. tea party patriots are gathering in washington for an audit the irs rally. in europe, president obama will give a speech later today at the brandenburg gate. yesterday the director of the national security agency told congress that programs have prevented more than 50 terrorist lot. it -- we would like to get your reaction to this story.

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Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN June 19, 2013 6:00am-7:01am EDT

News/Business.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 20, United States 16, Fisa 12, China 9, U.s. 7, Alexander 5, San Diego 4, Washington 3, Obama 2, Rosen 2, F.b.i. 2, The F.b.i. 2, Mr. Nunez 2, Nsa 2, Mr. Snowden 2, Midar 2, New York 2, The N.s.a. 2, America 2, Mr. Cole 2
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